A look at the battle for McCarthy’s seat
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Nevertheless, Scaturro’s outsider persona and strident, intellectual appeal to conservative principles has won him supporters among the Republican base, especially those who associate themselves with the Tea Party. In 2012, Scaturro lost the Republican congressional primary to County Legislator Francis Becker, but he beat Becker for the Conservative Party’s nomination through a write-in ballot campaign, which propelled Scaturro into the general election against Becker and McCarthy. And Blakeman’s star power has waned since he lost a 1998 race for state comptroller. One year later, he lost his seat in the County Legislature, and the next time he campaigned, in a 2010 race for U.S. Senate, he finished a distant third in the Republican primary. Blakeman declined an invitation to debate Scaturro.
“It comes down to how strong the Republican organization still is as at a time when it’s not always as dominant as it used to be,” Levy said. “And Frank Scaturro is clearly running as an insurgent outside the party … He does have some following among disgruntled Republicans. But it will be interesting to see how well an insurgent Republican can do running against the Republican machine at a time when it’s not quite as strong as it used to be.”